Global Political Economy

The Global Political Economy research cluster in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law aims to bring together academics interested in a wide range of questions within a broadly defined field of global political economy.

The remarkable nature of the field lies in its ability, over the course of the last two decades, to act as a catalysing force in reshaping the paradigmatic boundaries of social science. This has consisted in being able to address analytically more adequately the transformations brought about by globalisation, and, in so doing, to underscore the need for the current disciplinary and interdisciplinary boundaries to be thoroughly transcended.

Continuing and strengthening this trajectory at the University of Bristol, the research cluster will include people from Geographical Sciences (engaged with geographies of political economy), SPAIS (including sociologists, political scientists and international relations scholars researching topics), Policy Studies (colleagues from the Centre for Urban and Public Policy Research and others who study the transformation of welfare, social and public policies as part of global neoliberalisation), Law School (those with interests in the areas of commercial, international and labour law, corporate governance and socio-legal studies), and EFIM’s Department of Management (whose research lies in the area of  global changes in work and employment, managerialism and organisation, and the financialisation of management). The practical and symbolic aims of GPE, therefore, are for true cross-disciplinarity.

With establishing this research cluster our purpose is, above all, to support and promote research into the different areas within this field. Benefitting from the support offered by FSSL funding the research of individuals and groups within the cluster will: 1) gain visibility and 2) improve the connectedness and scope of activities of the cluster members. Regarding the former, this will be done by way of publicising the individual research interests of cluster members, which will be put up on the faculty research pages and regularly updated to act as a Faculty Research Wiki and/or to attract interest of the media or other external stakeholders.

Regarding the latter, the aim is to develop the cluster as a substantive, longer-term space within which to develop research (either individually, jointly among members of the cluster, or between some cluster members and colleagues from other universities), a vehicle to help individuals develop their own specific research projects, a forum to help individuals and/or groups make bids for funding, as well as maintain a vibrant research culture by organising workshops, facilitating structured discussion, bringing high profile speakers, and so on.

The cluster also has clear benefits for FSSL research strategy in the area of postgraduate training. The South West Doctoral Training Centre interdisciplinary pathway in Global Political Economy relates directly to the cluster’s work. Potential PhD students wishing to apply for an ESRC scholarship will be more naturally drawn to Bristol with its clearly identifiable group of people, thus bringing a higher number of better quality, ESRC funded PhD students to the faculty. In addition, the global political economy pathway has received an invitation to join the Global Studies Consortium. The Consortium was formed a few years ago by colleagues at the University of California, Santa Barbara and today has about 40 universities worldwide linked via multi-party exchange agreements between member institutions. The inflow of talented doctoral researchers, international exchange students and potential doctoral students and collaborators from other universities would, thus, benefit the GPE cluster, contributing to a more vibrant research culture within the cluster, a more prominent intellectual footprint of the cluster and the faculty within the University, and the University's more prominent identity and reputation in the field of GPE.

Group lead

To join this group, please email the group leader with details of your relevant research interests.

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